Boston health officials have upped the tally of people with confirmed cases of norovirus after eating at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Cleveland Circle, reporting Friday the count had reached 136. All but seven are Boston College students.
“We expect these numbers to keep evolving, but this is our current count,” said an e-mail from Ché Knight, spokeswoman for the Boston Public Health Commission.
Boston College reported Thursday that 141 students had told college health officials they had become ill after eating at the restaurant. The college said an additional 12 people caught the highly infectious virus from classmates who had dined at Chipotle.
Norovirus, the most common cause of food-borne illness, inflames the stomach and intestine, resulting in a day or two of nausea and vomiting. The city has not determined exactly how the virus got into food at the restaurant, which was shuttered Monday after inspectors found three serious violations: failure to keep meat hot enough, multiple reports of food-borne illness, and an employee who was sick while at work Dec. 3.
Boston public health officials are urging people to stop the spread of norovirus by washing hands regularly, avoiding close contact or sharing food and drink with sick people, and staying home when ill. The city has posted an informational page on norovirus.